The main goal of this presentation is to explore the entanglements between
technologies of the self and ecology. I am particularly interested in the ways in which the modern self — characterized by Elias as the homo clausus and by Watts as the skin-encapsulated ego — can be suspended, eroding the dualism between self and others, humans and nonhumans, and nature and culture. In order to address these issues, I will reflect on the ecosophical project of Thich Nhat Hanh, who actively attempts to intertwine particular technologies of the self — in particular, mindfulness — with nondual ways of conceptualizing and enacting human/nonhuman couplings. Based on the analysis of some of Thich Nhat Hanh’s literature, semi-structured interviews with practitioners of mindfulness, and participant observation at his monastery, Plum Village, this presentation will reflect on the micro and macro politics of these practices.

Antonio Carvalho

University of Exeter